HomeBioTiwa Savage Biography: Age, Real name, Net worth, and Controversies

Tiwa Savage Biography: Age, Real name, Net worth, and Controversies

If the word love is not in the title of Tiwa Savage’s biography, she must have found it in somebody’s son. The word reigns supreme in the title of some of her songs like Love Me Hard, Why Don’t you love me, Kele Kele Love, Love me love me love me, and Dangerous Love.

“A lot of things inspire me: life, happiness, heartbreak,” she once said.

With love comes heartbreak, unlike the argument between egg and chicken which came first. With love comes heartbreak, and with heartbreak comes love.

Tiwa Savage has had her fair share of love and heartbreak, and they have found expression in her songs.   

You can relate Love Me Hard with Fela’s Give me shit, I give you shit. But here, it’s love in reciprocity we are talking about, not bullshit!

Love me hard

Harder than you have

Before I’ll love you

Harder than you think o

More on Tiwa Savage and love later.

tiwa savage biography
Tiwa Savage Biography

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Tiwa Savage Profile Summary

Real Name Tiwatope Savage
Stage NameTiwa Savage
Date of BirthFebruary 5, 1980
Place of BirthLagos, Nigeria
Age 43 years old (as of 2023)
NationalityNigerian
Relationship StatusSingle
OccupationMusician, Actress
Net worth$5 billion
Tiwa Savage Profile Summary

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Tiwa Savage’s Real Name

Her stage name, Tiwa Savage, has a nice rhythmic blend around it, but Tiwatope, her first name in full, is gracious. “Ours is worthy of thanks” is a name given by parents to express gratitude for things that might have surrounded the birth of a child.

Only Tiwa Savage, her parents, and siblings can tell us the circumstances of the musician’s birth, but the name has benefited her, considering her successful career.

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Tiwa Savage Birth

Tiwa Savage was born on February 5th, 1980, at Isale Eko, Lagos state. And she has fond memories of growing up in that densely populated area.

“I was like a tomboy,” she said.

“Back then, I didn’t care about make-up or bags or shoes. I was very free. I had a very healthy upbringing. My parents made sure I was really grounded. I had loving brothers, and I remember playing around all the time when I was a kid.”

The playing around was soon over as her parents moved everyone to see the Queen. The trip to London was initially meant to be a brief visit, but her mother, Cecilia Savage, made it a long stay. Tiwa Savage wasn’t lonely in London, but it took her time to adjust.

“I had a strong Nigerian accent and didn’t have the trendy clothes the other kids had,” she said.

“I was bullied in secondary school, but those people became my friends once I started singing and doing local competitions.”

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Tiwa Savage Education

Before leaving the shores of Nigeria at 11, Tiwa Savage attended the University of Lagos staff school. We don’t know the high school she attended in England, but it was in the four walls of that institution that her musical life grew wings. And love played a key role.

“I had a crush on a guy who hung out with students who sang and played music at school,” she said.

“I wanted to take a music class to get his attention, and the teacher gave me the trombone to play. Eventually, I told him I wanted to sing instead. He asked me to sing something, and I did a song from The Sound of Music. He was pleasantly surprised and told me I had a beautiful, sweet tone. That’s how it all began for me.

“Then I met some musicians who introduced me to gospel music—the Clark Sisters and Kim Burrell. I started getting into jazz as well. I just fell in love with music at that point.”

We don’t know at what point she fell out of love with her crush or if they ever became an item, but the music didn’t give her heartbreak. However, before diving headlong into it, she earned an accounting degree from the University of Kent at the coaxing of her parents. 

tiwa savage biography

“African parents are very strict about further education, so mine didn’t buy the idea of me quitting secondary school and going into music,” she said.

“My dad told me to pick between being a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or engineer. So I went to university and studied accounting. After I graduated, I gave my dad my certificate and told him I was going off to sing. But the reality of being a session musician who might get three gigs a week and then nothing hit me. It wasn’t as glamorous as I thought it would be.

“I ended up taking a day job as a trainee accountant. In the evenings, I would go to studio sessions and jam, and then wake up and go to work the next morning. I started getting calls to sing backup for George Michael and others and then a call to go on tour with Mary J. Blige. The tour would take me away for two or three months, so I had to decide to leave my job and do music full-time. I did the tour.”

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Tiwa Savage Music Career

During the tour, Tiwa Savage met Keith Harris, who was playing the drums with the Black-Eyed Peas. He advised her to study music if she was serious about a career in music. She took his advice and came to Berklee College of Music, where she earned a diploma in professional music.

From there, she moved to New York, where she started taking part in songwriting sessions. A publishing deal with Sony ATV followed this. Tiwa Savage was on the move again as she moved to Los Angeles. There she worked with musicians like Frank Ocean, Kenny ‘Babyface’ Edmonds, and others.

She moved back to Nigeria with very little trepidation about her action.

“It doesn’t phase me to move,” she said.

“I moved to the U.K. and to Boston, knowing no one there. Later I went to New York and Los Angeles. I knew that going back to Nigeria meant I’d be starting over again.”

She fell in love with Afrobeat music because it was a blend of African music with hip-hop that was perfect for her, especially for someone who had lived in Nigeria, the U.K., and the U.S.

“I wanted to be part of the revolution that was happening. There weren’t too many female artists in the music and so there weren’t too many songs from a female point of view,” she said.

Tiwa Savage blends R&B, pop, and hip-hop with Afrobeat. But after relocating to Lagos, she wrote songs fusing musical styles and lyrics mainly in English but laced words from Yoruba and other Nigerian dialects.  

Shortly after launching her career in Nigeria, Tiwa Savage retraced her steps to Los Angeles.

“Some of my videos were banned because of the skimpy outfits I was wearing,” she said.

“Some promoters didn’t put me in their shows because I was female or because they thought other women might feel threatened by someone who was so confident about her s3xuality and music. It was difficult, so I went back to L.A. But I became depressed and went back and fight rather than give up.”

And what a fightback it was!

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Tiwa Savage Music Career Timeline

2006 – took part in the UK edition of The X Factor. She advanced to the final 24 but became the 12th person to be evicted

2009 – signed a publishing deal with Sony/ATV Music Publishing

2009 – performed background vocals on Whitney Houston’s album I Look to You

December 2011 – co-hosted the second season of Nigerian Idol alongside IllRymz

2011 – made her film debut with Joke Silva and Ireti Doyle in the stage adaptation of For Coloured Girls

2012 – moved back to Nigeria and signed with Mavin Records

2012 – was one of the lead acts on Mavin Records’ compilation album Solar Plexus

October 1st 2012 – performed her rendition of Arise, O Compatriots for Ndani Sessions in celebration of the 52nd anniversary of Nigeria’s independence

November 2012 – collaborated with Waje, Timi Dakolo Praiz, and Pamela Egoh on the Ovation Red Carol theme song Higher

July 3rd 2013 – released her debut studio album Once Upon a Time. It contained tracks like Kele Kele Love, Love Me, Without My Heart, Ife Wa Gbona, Folarin, Olorun Mi, and Eminado. The album was nominated for Best Album of the Year at the 2014 Nigeria Entertainment Awards and for Best R&B/Pop Album at The Headies 2014

2014 – featured on Reekado Banks’ single Turn It Up, which was produced by Don Jazzy

January 31st 2014 – released the Spellz-produced Love in Yellow in celebration of Valentine’s Day

May 1st, 2014 – featured in the Don Jazzy-produced Dorobucci with other label mates like Dr SID, D’Prince, Reekado Banks, Korede Bello, and Di’Ja

May 19th 2014 – Foston Musik premiered the Savage-assisted remix of Patoranking’s Girlie O. The song was produced by WizzyPro

June 7th, 2014 – performed at the 2014 MTV Africa Music Awards alongside Miguel, Flavour N’abania, Davido, Mafikizolo, Uhuru, Oskido, and Professor

June 2014 – collaborated with Mi Casa, Lola Rae, Sarkodie, Diamond Platnumz, and Davido on Africa Rising, a song for DStv’s campaign of the same name

December 19th, 2015 – released her second studio album R.E.D, which is an acronym for Romance, Expression and Dance. It had two notable singles, My Darlin and Standing Ovation

February 2016 – released its deluxe edition featuring vocals from Wizkid and P-Square

June 2016 – became the first African artist signed to Jay Z’s Roc Nation entertainment company

Tiwa Savage together with Jay-Z and Don Jazzy
Tiwa Savage together with Jay-Z and Don Jazzy

September 22nd 2017 – released her debut EP Sugarcane. It features collaborations with producers and guest musicians like Wizkid, Spellz, Baby Fresh, Maleek Berry, and P2J

August 24th 2018 – headlined a concert at the O2’s Indigo venue

November 2018 – won the Best African Act at the MTV Europe Music Awards, becoming the first woman to win the category

November 15th 2018 – released the track One, produced by Killer Tunez

December 2nd 2018 – performed at the 2018 Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100. The event took place at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa

December 7th, 2018 – released the video for One which was directed by Clarence Peters

January 2019 – the video was taken down by YouTube following an accusation of copyright violations

March 2nd 2019 – YouTube restored the video as it wasn’t able to verify the copyright is violated

March 13th 2019 – added to the lineup of artists who performed at the Wireless Festival.

May 2019 – left Mavin Records.

May 2nd 2019 – Universal Music Group announced the signing of Savage to a seven-year publishing and distribution deal

July 2019 – featured on Keys to the Kingdom, a track she co-wrote for Beyoncé’s soundtrack album The Lion King: The Gift

September 5th, 2019 – released 49-99, her first single with Motown Records. The song references the line “49 sitting, 99 standing” from Fela Anikulapo-Kuti’s 1978 hit Shuffering and Shmiling

November 19th, 2019 – released two singles Attention and Owo Mi Da

2019 – performed background vocals on Èkó from Coldplay’s eighth studio album Everyday Life

August 18th 2020 – gave the track list for the album Celia, and announced that the album will hit the market in 10 days’ time

August 19th, 2021 – hit the market with the single Tales by Moonlight. A day later, she came out with her second EP, Water & Garri

October 13th, 2021 – released the single Somebody’s Son

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Tiwa Savage and Wizkid relationship

When a male and female are gathered together in the name of music, talks of a romantic relationship become a soundtrack. While Tiwa Savage and Wizkid were working on the track Fever, rumours joined them in ‘holy matrimony’!

One can’t blame the gossipmongers, though. The amorous scenes in the video from the duo were too suggestive that requires parental guidance before viewing. 

Tiwa Savage and Wizkid on Stage
Tiwa Savage and Wizkid on Stage

Despite the comments and the subtle innuendo, Tiwa Savage denied being in a relationship with Wizkid. She said they were mere friends joined not by romance but by music and business.

They collaborated on two other tracks, Bad and Ma Lo.

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Tiwa Savage Husband

Tiwa Savage is an eligible spinster, but she once married, though. She married Tunji “Tee Billz” Balogun on November 23rd, 2013. The couple had their traditional marriage at The Ark in Lekki on that day, while the white wedding was held at the Armani Hotel in Dubai on April 26th, 2014.

The marriage was short-lived, as it lasted for 888 days.

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Tiwa Savage Son

Tiwa Savage and her son, Jamil
Tiwa Savage and her son, Jamil

The union was, however, fruitful. Tiwa Savage gave birth to Jamil Balogun on July 22nd, 2016 few months after his parents sorted out their divorce proceedings.

Tiwa Savage dots on the 6-year-old in her custody.

“Everything seems to make more sense now,” she said.

“The hustle, the hard work, the late nights, the traveling. I am doing it for someone. I don’t seem to get as tired anymore. The energy comes from somewhere. I need to hustle for my son.

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Tiwa Savage’s Net worth

She’s one of the richest female musicians in Nigeria and, possibly, Africa. Tiwa Savage’s net worth is estimated at ₦5 billion. Our rough calculation of her value is based on the proceeds from her music, several local and international concerts, collaborations with her contemporaries, and other business interests we don’t know about.

Another source of Tiwa Savage’s income comes from her brand ambassadorial roles with high-net-worth companies like Pepsi, Nestle, Forte Oil, MTN, and Konga.

READ: See Tiwa Savage’s New Music Video “Loaded” Featuring Asake

Tiwa Savage House

Tiwa Savage has a mansion at Richmond Estates, a posh residence in Lekki Lagos state. Some of her neighbours are Timaya, AY, MI, and Tuface.

Tiwa Savage Cars

Tiwa Savage Cars
Tiwa Savage Cars

Tiwa Savage’s collections of cars include Rolls Royce Phantom, Bentley Bentayga, Mercedes Benz, and Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

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Controversies

April 28th, 2016, would have been any other day. But Tunji Balogun, Tiwa Savage’s estranged husband, made it memorable. He took to his social media handle to accuse Tiwa Savage of infidelity and his mother-in-law of witchcraft.

Silence didn’t mean golden to Tiwa Savage as she hit back with her own salvo. She denied his infidelity claims but didn’t stop there. She accused him of abandonment, drug addiction, and financial recklessness.

Her saying the marriage was over was a non sequitur.

We won’t go into the details regarding this other controversy. But on October 19th, 2021, a s3x tape with Tiwa Savage as the leading character was leaked online.

Months earlier, precisely on June 8th, 2021, Tiwa Savage was involved in a skirmish with fellow musician Seyi Shay at a saloon in Lekki. In a video, the musicians could be seen exchanging words which almost degenerated into a fisticuff if not for the timely intervention of other customers.

Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay
Tiwa Savage and Seyi Shay

The genesis of their misunderstanding is now history as they have kissed and made up.  

Let’s wrap up with this. On May 28th, 2014, Moe Musa-directed visuals for the track Wanted were released. The video had Tiwa Savage wearing her birthday suit while touching herself suggestively.

There was a huge public backlash across various social media platforms. But it seems the motto of Tiwa Savage is: terrible publicity is better than no publicity!

Conclusion

Tiwa Savage is one of the biggest names in the Nigerian music industry. Her talent, consistency, and achievement have stood her out from the pack.

And with love still much around, there are more chapters left in Tiwa Savage’s biography.

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FAQs About Tiwa Savage Biography

Has Tiwa Savage won any awards?

Tiwa Savage has garnered a lot of honors and awards during the course of her career. For her songs, she has received numerous MTV Africa songs Awards, The Headies Awards, and other prestigious awards.

Has Tiwa Savage acted in any movies or TV shows?

Tiwa Savage has made a few film and television appearances in Nigeria. The 2010 film “For Colored Girls” was her acting debut, and she has since appeared in several productions.

Is Tiwa Savage active on social media?

Tiwa Savage is active on social media, posting updates about her music, projects, and personal life on sites like Instagram @tiwasavage and Twitter @TiwaSavage.

Victor Akhidenor
Victor Akhidenor
I’m an award-winning journalist with over 10 years of experience in the industry. I have a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and a Master’s degree in Media and Communication. I also have a certificate in Media Enterprise from Pan-Atlantic University as well as a D Diploma in football coaching. Aside from the media, I have work experience in insurance claims processing, marketing, credit analysis, and corporate communications in the banking sector. My hobbies are watching sports activities, reading and writing, carrying out research, traveling, and photography.